I just stumbled on a blog post written about me that is so cute & sweet, I wanted to share it. Thank you, Food Love! I know, I’m pretty amazing. *wink* It still stuns me that anyone comes here and reads my little ol’ website, so I get kinda giddy reading stuff like that. Makes it really worth it for me.
Alright, so, back to the baking… what’s better than fall flavors? I mean, summer is great with all the fresh fruit and vegetables, and clean crisp flavor. But fall… pumpkin, rich spices, cozy maple, caramel & brown sugar-y flavors. It’s just a great time of year for food. Plus, it’s a perfect time of year for the savory comfort food; macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, casseroles and au gratins. Fall clothes are great too. I can’t wait to wear my boots & sweaters! There comes a point no matter how much you love the summer that you start to say, “Enough with the 90 degree heat!” Actually more than that, for me, is “Enough with my makeup sliding off my face, my hair frizzing up & my shirt sticking to my back even though I’m just sitting here!”
So with this season (my favorite season), come new cupcakes. This time around it’s a variation on spice cake, in a cupcake. I topped them with a light, whipped cream-y brown sugar frosting, but they would also be great with a cream cheese frosting, a maple frosting or even a Mexican hot chocolate style frosting. Thanks to Dinner With Julie for the recipe. You can also make it into a cake very easily (instructions for that are in the recipe). I bet it would be good in a bundt-type pan too, with a confectioner’s sugar type glaze on top. Of course, I’m sad that Thanksgiving means the end of fall & the official start of Christmas, I might as well just keep taking advantage of the fall while it’s here.
But without further ado, here they are. My spice girls.
No, no! No. Not those. *cringes* Those are NOT my spice girls. That is just terrifying. These… these are my spice girls.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg and/or allspice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 6-cup muffin tins with liners (the recipe makes 1 ½ dozen), or spray two 8” or 9” round cake pans or one 9″ x 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for about half a minute, until it’s pale and creamy. Pour in the sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever it needs it.
- Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir it in by hand or with the electric mixer on low speed, just until it’s combined. Add about half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour, mixing just until the batter is blended.
- Divide the batter between the prepared tins, filling them about ¾ full, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes are golden and tops are springy to the touch.
I went a little higher with the frosting on this one… I think it looks better. Oh well.
PERFECT CUPCAKE FROSTING- BROWN SUGAR FLAVOR
First, get this:
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk (whole milk is best)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (NOT margarine!)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
And then yer gon’ do this:
- Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. It should still be liquid-ish though. It’s okay if you have lumps, because we’re gonna strain those out right now. Place the mixture in a mesh strainer and stir with a rubber spatula to push it through.
- You should end up with a nice, smooth mixture. It’s almost like pudding before it’s set.
- Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.
- It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Don’t be scared. It’s going to look like a goopy mess and kind of lumpy and separated. But you just wait. It’s gonna blow your mind in a few minutes.
- Beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes. Yes, that long. I know it seems like forever, but that’s when the magic happens!
- After 7-8 minutes it will have transformed from that sloppy mess into something gorgeous, fluffy, and incredibly light and silky.
The cheese stands alone.
Yum. I used a little less than a ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice, and I think that it really added something, so I’d suggest doing that if you’ve got both ingredients. I actually only have whole nutmeg, so I grated it myself. When all was said and done, I sprinkled some orange/yellow colored sugar on top of mine, because I just can’t leave well enough alone.